Thursday, March 26, 2015

Now's the Time: Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester

When the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts polled audiences about potential bookings in 2010, I responded with a list of artists I'd like to hear at the beautiful new building.  My suggestions included Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden, Keith Jarrett, Sonny Rollins and Cassandra Wilson. 

What was I thinking?

Kansas Citians would rather buy tickets to concerts by the likes of Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester.  The German retro-swing band will knock ‘em dead at Helzberg Hall on Tuesday, April 7. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*KC Jazz Lark buries the lead in a significant post about a jazz booster organization.

*Steve Paul lobbies against a proposed funding cut for the American Jazz Museum in an editorial in The Kansas City Star.

*Mike Corrigan’s (B.A.C.) Horn Doctor business was featured in a jazz-oriented profile by The Kansas City Star.

*Chris Burnett considers the promotion of jazz performances.

*The Pitch recommends a performance by Candace Evans.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Rudresh Mahanthappa- Bird Calls CD Release show tonight at @JazzStandardNYC. Sets at 7:30 and 10 PM. (link)

*Comment o’ the Week: Cb- I really dig Noah Preminger's music, HIB. He's from the east coast, correct?

*From Michael Shults- Saturday night March 28th I'm giving a lecture recital on the music of Bobby Watson at 7 PM at Take Five… I'll be analyzing and performing six of Bobby's compositions… several of these tunes were the songs that got me hooked on jazz as a teenager. It's also an all-Watson era UMKC alumni band: Clint Ashlock on trumpet, Andrew Ouellette on piano, Matt Leifer on drums and Ben Leifer on bass. I think for all of us it's a way to pay some small tribute to a man who had a profound influence on us and who, oh by the way, happens to be one of the greatest living composers of American art music. After the lecture recital, we'll take a break and Brett Jackson will join us for a tribute to the Jazz Messengers.

*From Take Five Coffee: Friday, March 27, 8pm: Sons of Brasil-
The Sons bring the samba, the bossa, and a host of other propulsive musical styles from Brazil and other cultures of Latin America. $5.  Saturday, March 28- 7pm: Michael Shults Lecture Recital: The work of Bobby Watson, 8pm: Music of the Jazz Messengers- Trumpeter Clint Ashlock leads a high-powered ensemble...  $5 cover.  Sunday, March 29, 10am - 2pm: Sunday Jazz Brunch: Gerald Spaits with Rod Fleeman and Paul Smith. No cover.

*From a press release: Enjoy the multi-faceted music of the Kansas City Kansas Community College Jazz program with the award-winning KCKCC Blue Devils Jazz Orchestra and vocal Jazz ensemble The Standard.  Wednesday, April 1, 2015.  Unity Temple on the Plaza. $7.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Concert Review: The Noah Preminger Quartet at 55 Bar

After taking in two hours of arias at Carnegie Hall, I wasn’t up for a musical nightcap at another pricey and formal venue during a brief visit to New York City last week.

I longed for something gritty and informal.  I found it at 55 Bar in Greenwich Village.  Noah Preminger led a quartet in a fierce performance that matched the ambiance of the dark and dingy basement venue.

About 25 people heard the tenor saxophonist, trumpeter Billy Buss, bassist Kim Cass and drummer Ian Froman open the second set with a harmolodic fury capable of startling Ornette Coleman.

Preminger’s intensity validated his status as one of the most exciting young saxophonists of the new millennium. 

Buss demonstrated why he beat out Kansas City’s Hermon Mehari in taking second place at last year’s Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition.  Cass and Froman went full throttle for much of the 45-minute set.

I’m pleased that the majority of Kansas City’s young jazz musicians are mindful of the mainstream tradition.  I’d be even happier if a few of them revealed an affinity for the adventurous likes of Coleman and Don Cherry.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Now's the Time: Jason Jackson

Trombonist Jason Jackson is the featured guest on saxophonist Rob Scheps' latest barnstorming tour of the Kansas City area.  The New York based trombonist and the saxophonist will perform with different combinations of locally based musicians in the noontime Jazz by the Lake series at Kansas City Kansas Community College and at the Majestic on Thursday, April 2, and at Lucky Brewgrille on Friday, April 3. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Project H recorded an Eight One Sixty session for radio station KTBG.

*KC Jazz Lark assesses the positive contributions of the American Jazz Museum.

*Chris Burnett highlights upcoming events at the American Jazz Museum.

*Jerry Bergonzi is among Joe Dimino’s recent interview subjects.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Ghosts of Venice- When the afterparty is a 6am jazz club. Kansas City, I love you @ The Foundation Room (photo)

*Comment o’ the Week: Gary- I hope Lowrey plays Rockfest with Tech N9ne. Still I'd most likely not attend.

*From Bob McWilliams: KPR is airing an in studio concert by Horacescope this Thursday at 9:06 pm and again Sat. at 2:06 p.m. KPR in KC area is KANU FM 91-5 in Lawrence.

*This week’s edition of Confirmation is two days early.  Now’s the Time will appear a day late.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Concert Review: Dojo at the Green Lady Lounge

I attended the first set of a performance by Dojo last week partly because I was curious to discover how loud it would get at the Green Lady Lounge.

The decibel level- potent but not painful- was just right.

Brian Baggett shredded.  An appealing combination of Grant Green, Allan Holdsworth and Eddie Van Halen, the guitarist is a technical monster.

I already knew that Baggett was a master musician, but the fluidity of bassist Chris Handley floored me.  Ridiculously accomplished, Handley’s playing was almost as speedy as Baggett’s.  Drummer Luke Stone rounded out the ensemble.

As suggested in Plastic Sax’s review of Dojo’s 2013 album Road Trip, the trio plays propulsive fusion.  Here’s representative footage from a January show at the Green Lady Lounge.

About 25 people attended the set.  That’s not bad for a Tuesday night.  Even so, I know that there are thousands more fusion and metal fans in the area who would lose their minds if exposed to Baggett’s aggressive attack with Dojo.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Now's the Time: Terri Lyne Carrington

I was disappointed by Terri Lyne Carrington’s perforrmance at the (sorely missed) Jazz Winterlude festival 15 months ago.  The drummer’s all-star band seemed tentative, and in spite of the billing of the concert, Carrington didn’t really dig into her excellent Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue album.  A post at Carrington’s Facebook account suggests that Lizz Wright, Tia Fuller and Helen Sung are among the prominent musicians that will join her at the Gem Theater on Saturday, March 14.